Testimonies of taxi driver need to be thoroughly probed – Palace
Malacañang on Monday said the testimonies of taxi driver Tomas Bagcal and the narrative of the police that led to the killing of 19-year-old Carl Angelo Arnaiz must be thoroughly investigated.
Bagcal surfaced on Sunday and confirmed that Arnaiz robbed him in Caloocan last August.
He, however, said the police narrative on the death of the teenager was “scripted.” He also denied he executed any legitimate affidavit.
“This is better subjected – this is better subjected to the proper investigation,” presidential spokesperson Ernesto Abella said in a Palace briefing.
The Caloocan City police officers who shot Arnaiz had earlier said the 19-year-old former University of the Philippines student had robbed a taxi driver and fought back as they were trying to arrest him.
On the claims of Bagcal that Arnaiz’s killing “seemed staged or scripted,” Abella said: “We can’t just make pronouncements hastily, we need to investigate thoroughly.”
But Abella said Bagcal’s testimonies would be “vital” in solving the case of Arnaiz’s death.
“We look forward to Mr. Tomas Bagcal’s cooperation with authorities, as he willingly expressed during his press conference,” he said. “The National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) is now conducting a parallel probe in the Carl Angelo Arnaiz case and Mr. Bagcal is vital in its speedy resolution.”
In a speech on Friday, president Rodrigo Duterte said the recent killings of three teenage boys might be carried out to sabotage the police.
“But at this stage, we cannot speculate about whether there are saboteurs or non-saboteurs regarding…especially affecting the deaths of young people,” Abella said.
“However, the President himself has introduced that idea, that insight. It seems that at this stage there are probably those who are involved in making sure that the campaign – his campaign is actually discredited,” he added.
The Palace official said the conflicting claims of Bagcal and the police should be subjected to “rigorous” probe.
“It should be subjected to proper and rigorous investigation just to determine what really is the actual thing happened in there,” he said.
He assured the public that those responsible for the death of Arnaiz must be held accountable.
“We expect the truth of the matter to be clarified and those responsible made accountable before the law,” Abella said.
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